The X Factor Episodes

2011, TV Show

The X Factor Episode: "Top 12 Perform"

Season 1, Episode 11
Episode Synopsis: Finalists from the four categories, Boys, Girls, Over 30s and Groups, perform.
Original Air Date: Nov 2, 2011

The X Factor: We’ve Reached a Final 12! Season 1, Episode 11

Congratulations, you guys! We've braved our way through mansions, makeovers, and maniacal mentors, having finally arrived at the final 12. And now, it's up to us to decide who stays.

The Brit host (is his name Steve, or Mike?) doesn't waste any time and moves right to Paula's first act.

The Stereo Hoggz

Ouchhhh ... the lead singer really blows the first verse of the song. They do a well-choreographed version of Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation." But their gold-embellished kneepads truly couldn't protect them here. They were totally off-key and missed the mark. L.A., however, thinks that they have what it takes to be a star and Paula giggles like a schoolgirl. Simon says it was a "master class of choreography, vocals, charisma" ... blah, blah, blah. Wait! Am I watching the same show? It's going to be a long night.

Chris Rene

He says he has a hard time relating to other people's lyrics because he's more in touch with his own songs, but you'd never know based on his performance. I still think he could benefit from more vocal coaching, but I liked the performance as a whole. What I didn't like? The insanely cheesy flames exploding beyond him the entire time! What was that? ("That's call fire baby, cause he's hot," L.A. later explains). It seemed like a "make-your-own-music-video" situation created on a bootleg iMovie program. Simon thought it was a big improvement on what Rene did last week.

Leroy Bell

Singing Lonestar's "Already There," it seems like Bell and his coach Nicole are struggling to find a suitable song choice. Simon thinks Bell has a confidence issue, and Paula says, "I've never seen anyone work so hard. I love you." There was nothing particularly standout about the performance, but nothing elimination-worthy, either.

Rachel Crow

Crowe takes the stage looking cute and teeny boppery as ever. There's no denying girl's got some pipes, but whether it's nerves or lack of experience, it seems like week after week she has major issues projecting. Also, she seems consistently nervous and stiff, which holds her back from thrusting herself into the performance full force. But given her age, I think she's doing fantastic. "You are America's sunshine," says Nicole. "Even though you're only 13 years old, you have a classic recording voice. Kind of like Michael Jackson in the Jackson 5?" Let's pray that's their only similarity.

Lakota Rayne

Since Paula is so deep, she decides each of the four girls will represent a season for the performance. Because there are four girls, and four seasons, which is perfect! She puts them in four different primary-colored dresses that look like they were purchased in the prom section of Joyce Leslie. Now, that's not to say there's anything wrong with Joyce Leslie. But on a show that has the budget to outfit its performers in couture, it's just kind of ... inexcusable.  While we expected a more literal interpretation (a la "Turn! Turn! Turn! to Everything There is a Season"), Paula has them sing "Landslide," and it's quite beautiful. For some reason I keep wanting to doubt these girls, and they continue to surprise me week after week. "Tonight I felt the blend. Tonight I felt the harmonies," says L.A. "I get frustrated because I still want you to not be a 'tweener. There's something pop, there's something country ... but I want you to be one or the other."

Josh Krajcik

Another week, another homeless man's beard for Krajcik. The minute he breaks out the first few lyrics of this song, I have a fantastic feeling about it. And he did not disappoint. An unusual choice for a raspy-voiced hairy dude, he does a gut-wrenching interpretation of Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" (though he looks a bit demonic at certain points in the performance). I have to commend Nicole on the unique, out-of-left-field song here. Paula says, "You just nail everything." Simon says, "I take back everything I said. That was incredible. It's like you wrote the song. It was absolutely stunning. You took a risk, and it paid off."

Melanie Amaro

The ousted-then-not-ousted Amaro starts out a capella, and then moves into an emotional version of "Desperado." I said this last week: Doesn't she look amazing? If there were a "most improved" style award, Amaro would be the shoo-in. And let's face is — she's also a shoo-in to be in the finals. She's in the major leagues while the rest of these fools are struggling to keep up in Double-A. Paula says hearing her voice is like "fine china. Just bring it out for the most special occasions." Which is also a pick-up line.

Astro

We're closing in on the 70-minute mark and everyone is almost asleep until the little silver-pants-wearing spitfire takes the stage! Seriously, he's so full of energy that Astro makes you feel like you're missing out if you're not sitting in the audience. L.A says he keeps getting "better and better and better and better" each week. But can a Brooklyn-based baby rapper really win this competition?

InTENsity

Sure, they're the group everyone loves to hate, but let's stop for a second and talk about the only one who matters: Ellona. If there were a way for Paula to eliminate the other nine and push Ellona through as a solo-artist, I think she'd stand a fighting chance. As for the rest of them? Pretty insufferable. They do a mash-up of "We're the Kids in America" and "Party Rock" which is fun and likely their best performance to date, but it won't win them $5 million. Nicole agrees with me, calling the performance "fun-tastic" and "fun-omenal!" What a knee-slapper!

Drew

The hippie-chic soul singer starts her performance lying in a bed of flowers, sporting her signature barefoot style and an age-appropriate pink frock.  She sings Nelly's "Just a Dream" — a song that should make no sense for her — but it's incredibly charming. After what we've seen so far, I foresee a Drew-Astro-Melanie final three. Maybe I'm jumping the gun? Anyway, L.A. says: "You have the spirit of the superstar."

Marcus Canty

One thing this guy does not lack is swagger. He's consistently effortless on stage, like a natural-born performer who's been in the biz for years. I think he has the star quality that The X Factor is looking for, but I question whether he is unique enough in an industry saturated with young, male hip-hop/pop crossover performers. Simon: "You have come alive. It was a brilliant song choice. Props to you, L.A." L.A says: "I love to see you come alive, my man."

Stacy Francis

Francis claims she was offended by Simon's church-singer comparison last week, yet gives her most church-singerish performance to date. Once again, her voice is powerful and moving — not to mention, she looks phenomenal in a floor-length sequin number. L.A says she stirs souls when she sings. Nicole says: "You were just honest. You were the epitome of grace, and poise, and beauty, and you're fulfilling your purpose."

So who's going home tomorrow night? Who are the clear-cut front-runners? I decided on my final three (Drew, Astro, Melanie) — do you agree? Weigh in below!

 

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Congratulations, you guys! We've braved our way through mansions, makeovers, and maniacal mentors, having finally arrived at the final 12. And now, it's up to us to decide who stays.
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Premiered: September 21, 2011, on FOX
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Premise: Solo artists and music groups compete for a $5 million recording contract. Based on the hit British competition series.

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